The Classic Networking Tool is Still With Us – And Is Just as Important Today
In today’s digital world, more content is being created — in exponential numbers. That means less is being published the old-fashioned way. There’s less paper and more computer files. This could be good in a lot of ways, but it’s also changing the dynamics of building business relationships.
Today people are content to exchange cellphone numbers or business website URLs. Yes it’s quick and convenient, but a cell number can get ignored — even if it’s converted into a contact. You know you’ve done it. And how many times have we tried to remember a website, only to jump on the Internet later and misspell it?!
Enter an old friend, the small but feisty business card. Business cards are the number one introduction tool in networking. Period. There, I said it.
The least expensive advertising in the world, business cards tell your story in 10 seconds or less. Since they’re so inexpensive, you don’t have to worry about handing out a lot: One new client and your potential ROI will justify its meager expense.
If a card is unique in some way, i.e., a soft-touch texture or a knock-out design – they might prove to start conversations as well.
- The Personal Touch: Digital information tends to be impersonal. There’s just no substitute for solid eye contact and sincere, warm conversation. Sometimes the best relationships start with this kind of dialogue.
- Brand Creation: A business card could be one of the first impressions you make. The card should help support your company’s brand marketing. And you don’t want the card to make a wrong impression — so some care should be exercised during the design phase. If you’re not working for Apple or Nike, and don’t have a legion of raving fans — you need to start building a foundation for your business – and a good card helps you do this. An interesting or exotic business card that leaps out at someone can continue to market for you — even after the encounter. If the card makes a strong impression with the lead, they might show it to others after the fact – so you’re getting more mileage out of it. Win!
- They Make You Look Professional and Legit: People want to do business with someone they can trust. Prospects that don’t have a business card, or have outdated/crossed-out information on them — are often red flags for the recipient. If a business card could talk for you, it might say ‘I’m for real and I’m here to stay. How can I be of service?’ Business cards can also double as a brochure. A good business card can act as an effective leave-behind item. A business card might be small, but it can speak volumes for your business and the rapport of your brand.
- Quick on the Draw!: There’s nothing more aggravating when the person you’re chatting with doesn’t end up having a business card to follow up (don’t be that person!) So you take out your phone and open LinkedIn, ask them to spell their name: Is that Mary Ann with an “e”? These are valuable minutes that you could have spent talking about real business, closing a deal, or moving on to meet other people during network marketing events.
- Ready for the Old Guard – and the New! There are still classic businessmen and women who want to exchange cards. Be ready for those people because those are the folks with experience. Those are the folks you want to know — and in some cases learn from. Can you imagine having a valuable conversation with a top-level executive and they ask you for your card — and you don’t have one? By having that brand marketing item in your pocket, it ensures people that you’re ready to make connections and do business.
These are just a few advantages of the business card — there are many more it has to offer.
If you need help creating or designing a dynamic card to help you with brand creation, call StellaPop today to get started. Here’s my card.